Khartoum - Bafana Bafana team doctor Thulani Ngwenya says injured goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune was carrying an injury from as far back as February and was subsequently removed from the national team’s trip to Sudan.
“Itu had heel pain since February, according to him. He was playing in his team (Kaizer Chiefs) and when playing, it would swell up and after the game, they would put ice just for the inflammation to go down,” Ngwenya said after South Africa arrived in Khartoum on Wednesday afternoon.
Bafana are in the country for their opening 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, group A, qualifier against Sudan on Friday night.
Khune was omitted from the travelling party of 24 and will also miss South Africa’s second qualifier against Nigeria, in Cape Town, next week.
“Khune trained with the (Bafana) team, however, he couldn’t finish the training session because the ankle started to swell up again,” Ngwenya said.
“I advised that we need to do a CT scan. The scan showed a grade three stress fracture. We decided that it would be best that Khune rests and we advised Chiefs that he should be released from the camp.”
Bafana arrived shortly before 5pm local time to soaring temperatures in excess of 35 degrees Celsius and high humidity.
After summing up the conditions, Ngwenya said he and his medical team would have their work cut out as they attempt to keep the team hydrated and in peak condition for Friday’s game.
“One of the things that we are going to do is to try and rehydrate (as much) as possible because I understand that we cannot change the temperature here,” he said.
“We’re going to make sure that in between the training session, every now-and-then, we’re going to have a rehydration session whereby they drink water so that they don’t get de-hydrated.”
Bafana will have their first training session in Khartoum on Thursday morning, after missing a scheduled session on Wednesday evening due to their late arrival at the team’s hotel.
Meanwhile, Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba, who will take charge of his first fixture since he was hired by the SA Football Association (Safa) in July, confirmed that overseas-based Ayanda Patosi failed to report to camp after missing his flight from Belgium.
Patosi was called up for the two games but, according to Mashaba, the talented youngster missed his flight that was booked by Safa.
“Let’s wait for him, we’ll have other camps, he will come and explain. He called me, I’m sure he was trying to emulate me, he was crying,” Mashaba said.
“He said to me that he was going to book a ticket out of his own pocket, he’ll come to Cape Town.
“I said, hold on. Don’t do it until we come back to you. Money is a scarce commodity nowadays, we can’t allow players to be buying tickets and if he finds that he comes here, there’s (potentially) nothing happening, he’s not in the plan.”
“I wouldn’t advise him to buy a ticket.”